Still Life of Elephant & Schizophrenic Woman in Clinton era

Hot late August,  Monday 1994
in Oregon & the papers say Sunday a schizophrenic
woman in a sack dress clutching
a wailing Siamese cat and a butcher
knife comes in the supermarket
complaining that she’s thirsty,
enters the soft drink aisle
grabs a can of Coca Cola,
pops the top & still clutching the
moaning feline, & the knife
puts a Winston in her mouth
& sits down on the floor, lighting up the
cigarette, as she crosses her legs
& tells everyone her grandmother
is a satan worshiper, as the
employees barricade her at each end
of  the aisle with grocery carts
& she starts yelling for the police, who shortly arrive
all eight of them to spray her with mace and she,
in the indelible strength of her mental
disorder defends herself,
raising the knife over head & the cops,
the frightened cops,
shoot her once in the neck &
three times in the chest,
in what is termed self-defense,
but is it partly or wholly  the double-sided evil
fear and loathing of the unknown,
unfamiliar, and yes partly the long awaited chance to
use the hand gun on a fellow human being?

Within hours of this Sunday event,
in Honolulu, an elephant is spooked
in the circus, by a nineteen year old man
who foolishly came up behind & placed his hand
on the leg of the 21 year old pachyderm &
the Asian beast, either startled or remembering an old injustice
tries to kill the boy having been recently unnaturally transported to
this paradise of blueness & money..knows of neither &
the beast’s new trainer tries to intervene and then it turned
on the circus man and killed him instead,
in India,  a new mahout is considered expendable,
in these circumstances..
& then the elephant broke free sending circus patrons
screaming for the aisles & in
the ensuing rampage of the rogue elephant, cops
are dispatched & take to the chase through
downtown Honolulu where the lumbering  legs began
a pitiful escape attempt, wading through &
dwarfing  Toyota’s in the street, sent to this island
by relatives of  former bombardiers whose sights set
now only upon franchise & profit
& the police took a high powered rifle
& fired seven times into the beast’s neck to bring
it mammothly to its knees & animal control
attendant’s administered the final
downtown massive lethal injection as the animal cries for all to hear

“America’s pure products,” do “go
crazy,” thank you Dr. Williams & the
Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence
& the Constitution seem sometimes held @ bay by
P.T. Barnum’s hucksterism,
“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Patterson, New Jersey is now adjacent to a toxic waste
dump & the Federal Reserve Board which operates
upon Barnum’s theorem funds a process
in systems theory which keeps us all
here paying interest to an invisible elite &
thank-you again, Dr. Williams,
only we’ve not awakened yet,
almost fifty years
after you pointed this out & one hundred thousand
new police on the street
will not make a difference, the ones we
have now can take care of rogue elephants
& the knife wielding schizophrenics.
& the new ones will only enforce this theory of control.
The elephants eye comes to the surface
of the wire service photo & the quick action of the policemen
who killed the woman w/the cat, operating on protocol, as does profit..
this lie, much older than the past two millennial shift that sends
itself again & again as both disguised order
& undisguised disorder.. seems you need on call
experienced mahouts & psychiatrists
& the 9 dollar an hour job you can get if you are lucky & sober
coupled with the $1000.00 a month
for the decent house for you and your children
& then add on the security deposit and the last months rent

Making it important to me to diminish any of the same rage of the elephant’s eye
& sanctify sanity in my own good right hand, knowing  the blue
juice of the lethal injection, or the police .45 is for me as well,
& scholastic determinism &  one hundred thousand
new police are waiting for systems theory to work out & for all
who cross over the line, the white line, the picket line, or the thin red
line that takes you to aisle number 4 — for soft drinks.
In America magnum ordinance necessarily  awaits ready in the holster for the angry
beast, or disordered cat-lover,  because of our unconsciousness of good as it really is &
instead coupling it with good & evil, & division upon division of relative  bureaucracies
having paid only lip service to justice & contention, coupled upon contention
rides in black & whites &  this after noon I wonder what 12 years will bring
& in the street, gangs of fatherless children arm themselves against an enemy
they cannot identify, yet they know exists
& it’s two pm & my wife comes in the door & informs me
after arriving from the store with cool drinks
this hot August afternoon that there is a forest fire one mile from our home.

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